Monday, March 20, 2006

8 Things Your DJ Doesn't Want You To Know Pt. 2

dj craig

5. What if people don't dance?

This is extremely rare. Keep in mind that, as the hosts or guest of honor, your guests will often take their cue from you. If you are on the dance floor they are more likely to be as well.

There are some events where promoting dancing is more difficult than others. For example, events that are early in the day, outdoor, sunlit, do not serve liquor and have less than 40 people attending can be a challenge. But I've even had those parties often turn out fantastic.

It sometimes takes a while for the dancing to get going. A good DJ will not panic. He will just keep on playing a great mix, as if his dance floor is already packed. If people aren't dancing, it just means they are not yet ready. Usually, even the most hesitant partygoers eventually come around.

6. My friend (or Uncle or Cousin) is a DJ, maybe I should use them.

It's true there are lots of DJs around, everybody seems to know one. Since there is no official, universally accepted Disc Jockey certification, anybody can buy some sound equipment and proclaim that they too are a DJ. It's kind of like buying a sports car and claiming you are now a race driver. You still need good training, experience, a reliable track record and a good reputation. I've heard too many horror stories about "DJs" who either didn't show up, were late, sent a replacement, dressed badly, played the wrong music or otherwise didn't act professionally.

Part time DJs may not have the same devotion to their craft as a full timer. If it is his livelihood and primary source of income, he HAS to be good at it to generate referrals and repeat business.

7. What if I don't want any (fill in the blank) _________ Music?

Beware of absolute generalizations. It's completely understandable if you have specific songs you just do not like. But to exclude an entire category of music may be shortsighted. For instance, I've had some clients tell me they don't want any Rap. That would then exclude Usher, Will Smith, Nelly and much of the hottest current dance music. Music their guests may really want.

The power of music is that it's an inclusive thing that brings people together. Being open to any musical possibility the situation may call for, frees up your DJ to be creative and let your party flow naturally. You may not like a certain type of music but you may want to consider allowing it (assuming it's non- offensive) if that's what makes your guests happy. By the same token, plenty of attention should also be given to the music you do really like.

8. Why are some DJs so expensive?

It comes down to exclusivity and what the market will bear. There are only 52 weekends a year. A DJ can only do one gig at a time. If there is a preponderance of clients vying for the same DJ on the same date, he can charge more than others.

On the other hand, if your date is on an "off night" or unpopular time, you may be able to negotiate a better deal. And if your event is coming up very shortly and the DJ has an opening, he may be willing to substantially discount his normal fees.

DJ Craig has experience as a Club DJ, On Air Jock and Mobile DJ. He has coordinated and played music for thousands of private events in Southern California over the past 15 years.

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